As we continue striving to live SENT, we need to pursue opportunities that provide a platform for us to communicate the love of Christ; and how we go about doing that is important. [ref. Part 1]
So, here are some steps to make sure we are planting more seeds than bullets in our live SENT opportunities:
1) Pray: Take time each day to let God prepare your heart and mind for your live SENT opportunities. Ask Him to equip you with wisdom to know when to speak and when to be silent. Ask Him what you are to say. He will do that. Check out Matthew 10:19-20.
2) Look: Stay alert and look for opportunities. Colossians 4:5 reminds us that we are to “make the most of every opportunity.” If we are not paying attention, we can miss the opportunities that God brings in front of us. Look at every circumstance as a situation that God is already working in and seek to join Him in that work
3) Risk: God calls us to trust him so much that we aren’t afraid to put ourselves in situations where will be in big trouble if He doesn’t show up. This is not a call to careless or frivolous risk. I am talking about risking big for God…risking for people to know Him…risking by inviting…risking by giving…risking by loving. It is easy to live SAFE and SAVED, but we are called to live SENT.
4) Go the extra mile: Following Jesus is a radical way of life. It runs counter to our culture…even North American Church culture. In Matthew 5:39-42, Jesus sets a standard that we often overlook or ignore; but living SENT will require us to do more. Read what He said in Matthew 5. Then seriously consider what you need to do to go the “extra mile.”
– Help a co-worker with a project when you really don’t have to.
– Ask your neighbor if you can help them with something and do that with joy.
– Give generously and then give more.
– Take an afternoon and invest in someone else.
– Ask someone who is struggling how you can pray for them and do it every day.
– Listen more in conversations and ask good questions for their benefit…not yours.
– Treat those who mistreat you really well…even after they do it again.
– Forgive more…smile more…encourage more…pray more….the list can go on!
5) Repeat: Be consistent. Too often we try this stuff; and because it is not received well or did not result in immediate and significant changes, we give up. However, there is power in our consistency, and Galatians 6 reminds us not to give up. When people see that we consistently love them, forgive them, invest in them and serve them, they see we are genuine. They notice, and then want to know why. That’s when we receive the opportunity to introduce them to the one who is the Way, the Truth and the Life…Jesus! Don’t give up. Be faithful and consistent. Then repeat.
Keep pressing on!
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…”
February 17, 2015
Number 5 is the real kicker for me! Consistency really does seem to be the key to unlock someone else’s heart and can move them past the skeptical, “Why are they being so nice and what do they really want?” mentality to sincere belief that you really care. I appreciate your blogs and encouragement!